June 25, 1998
California Legislature To Debate Measure
Providing Medical Marijuana
Distribution By Local Communities
June 25, 1998, Sacramento, CA:
The California Assembly will debate legislation next week that authorizes local
governments to establish medical marijuana distribution programs.
Senate Bill 1887, recently amended by sponsor John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), states that "a city ... or county may distribute marijuana to persons in medical need." The measure makes use of an untested provision in the federal Controlled Substances Act that immunizes local officials who comply with local drug laws from federal sanctions. Supporters of the legislation anticipate this provision to be tested in federal court.
California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer praised the intent of S.B. 1887 and noted that it closely corresponds to the approach proposed by the organization in May. "Senator Vasconcellos is to be congratulated for offering a comprehensive, realistic solution to the short-term medical marijuana distribution problem," he said.
The bill also argues for federal rescheduling of the drug. "There is widespread consensus among physicians, law enforcement, patients, providers and other stakeholders that the most effective solution [to the question of medical marijuana distribution] is for the federal government to reschedule marijuana so that it can be prescribed under the same strict protocols as morphine and cocaine," the bill reads.
The Assembly Health Committee will hear S.B. 1887 on Tuesday.
For more information, please contact either Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858 or R. Keith Stroup, Esq. of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.
Judge Sets Bail At $10,000 For Retired Professor Who Smoked Marijuana
June 25, 1998, State College, PA:
Retired Penn State chemistry professor Julian Heicklen was arrested on Monday for
smoking a marijuana cigarette as an act of civil disobedience to protest the state's
criminal marijuana penalties. Bail was set at $10,000 and Heicklen presently sits in
jail awaiting a July 1 hearing.
Since the spring, Heicklen has organized weekly "Marijuana Smoke Outs" at Penn State University and in front of the Centre County Courthouse to challenge marijuana prohibition. He is planning a 30-hour demonstration beginning July 9 which will feature speakers Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation, Dr. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School, Dr. John Morgan of City University of New York Medical School, and others. Heicklen said he never smoked marijuana before he started organizing the protests this spring.
For more information, please contact either Tanya Kangas, Esq. of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or visit marijuananews.com.
REMINDER: THE "29TH ANNUAL RALLY, MARCH, AND CONCERT TO END HEMP PROHIBITION" WILL TAKE PLACE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ON JULY 4. JOIN THOUSANDS OF ACTIVISTS AT THE NATION'S CAPITOL. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FOURTH OF JULY HEMP COALITION @ (202) 887-5770.